Tanzania urged to translate impressive economic growth to poverty eradication

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The World Bank on Friday urged Tanzania to take measures aimed at translating its impressive economic growth into reduction of poverty levels.

Tanzania’s average annual rate of economic growth has stood at around 6-7 percent over the past decade, and it is projected to maintain these rates for the next two years.

“If Tanzania continues with its business-as-usual approach, it runs the risk of failing to achieve its goals of accelerated growth and poverty reduction,” said the World Bank in its 8th Tanzania Economic Update Report launched in Dar es Salaam.

The bank said the achievement of this rate of growth will only have a marginal impact in terms of the country’s poverty reduction goals, given the country’s high rate of population growth.

“Therefore, it is critically important to accelerate growth in labour intensive sectors, such as agriculture and manufacturing, in order to create a far greater number of productive and decent jobs for the rapidly expanding workforce,” the World Bank said in the report.

It said generating a greater number of productive jobs was critical for the achievement of equitable growth and the maintenance of social and political stability.

It estimated that about 12 million Tanzanian people continued to live on less than a dollar a day.

The poverty rate in the east African nation fell from 34 percent in 2007 to 28 percent in 2012 but the World Bank said if the proportion was calculated using the new 1.90 US dollar per day global poverty line, the poverty rate increased to 46 per cent in 2012.

“Based on this measure, Tanzania ranks in ninth place in terms of the number of its population living in poverty on a global scale,” said the bank.